Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA

Scroll Illustration by Christopher Bawden

Scroll Illustration by Christopher Bawden

The United States Supreme Court made two major decisions concerning gay marriage June 26.
The first states that married, same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits, and the second permits same-sex marriage to take place in California, making it the 13th state to allow this union.
The court also struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement shortly after the court decisions.
“Regardless of the court decision, the Church remains irrevocably committed to strengthening traditional marriage between a man and a woman, which for thousands of years has proven to be the best environment for nurturing children. Notably, the court decision does not change the definition of marriage in nearly three-fourths of the states,” according to Mormon Newsroom.
The Church’s statement, so the citizens of California should wonder if there is something fundamentally wrong when their government, will not defend or protect a popular vote that reflects the views of a majority of their citizens.
In 2006, the citizens of California voted for Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage.
The Supreme Court overruled proposition  during its decisions June 26.
According to The Boston Globe, President Obama supported the decisions made by the Supreme Court, but not every state adopted Obama’s view.
Thirty-seven states do not recognize same-sex marriage, and thirty-five of those states have banned same-sex marriage, according to The Boston Globe.
Kim Daniels, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in an interview with the Boston Globe, that marriage should only exist between one man and one woman.
“These decisions will reenergize the public conversation about marriage, and now it’s time to redouble our efforts,” Daniels said.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, there are over 1,000 benefits for married couples. These benefits include: social security, taxes, equity, medical care, immigration, worker’s health benefits and other health coverage.
These benefits are only given to those who are legally married, but not those in a civil union. A civil union is a relationship or partnership that is recognized as a legal bond, but does not receive the same benefits as those who are married, according to About.com.
According to National Conference of State Legislatures, only Colorado, Hawaii, New Jersey and Illinois recognize civil unions.
Currently 13 states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage.
According to ABC News the states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington State.
Same-sex couples must remain in the state they were married in to keep the benefits.
If a couple moves back to a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage, they will lose the federal benefits, according to The Boston Globe.
“It makes things tenuous at this point,” said Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer, a minister for the United Church of Christ in an interview with The Boston Globe. “Everything that I’m hearing out of the Obama administration is they want to make things as equal as they possibly can, but folks are going to have to demand that they’re treated equally. It’s not going to just happen.”

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